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In September 2010 I started tapering from 5 mg of Clonazepam daily.  October 3, 2011 I took my last dose of Clonazepam.  For about 2.5 weeks I felt fine.  Then out of the blue a severe panic attack hit me in the middle of a work day.  I tried to work through it using breathing techniques, breathing into a paper bag, trying all kinds of distractions but after several hours of the symptoms getting worse and worse I ended up going to the ER.  They sent me home with Ativan.  For a few days after this I felt fine again.  But since then (it's been about 3 weeks now) I've been having severe panic attacks every day that last and escalate for hours until I finally cannot take it anymore and administer Clonazepam and often also Ativan.  Are these withdrawal symptoms or is this the original problem I had before I started taking Clonazepam 5 years ago???  I hate that I'm taking benzos again as I was so happy to finally finishing my taper after over a year.  My one-year taper went fairly smoothly, no major panic attacks.  When I was down to .125 mg of Clonazepam for the last four weeks of my taper I also felt fine.  Now it's worse than it was when this all started about 5 years ago.  Also, I wake up at 3 in the morning most days and can't get back to sleep.  5 years ago my problem was falling asleep at night.

I've gone to see a several GP's.  One wanted to prescribe anti-depressants immediately without any discussion, so I went to see another GP who prescribed Buspar.  Has anyone had any expereince with Buspar??? Another GP is sending me to see a physiatrist - haven't had any good experiences with people from that profession regarding benzo withdrawal but I guess it can't hurt to try again.  Although this feels like a physical dependency not a phsycological one.

Now that I am not benzo free as I've been taking Clonazepam for panic attacks daily should I ask a GP to prescribe Diazepam (Valium) to attempt a substitution taper???  At this point my panic attacks are so bad that I am on a medical leave.  I had no idea that 2.5 weeks after being benzo free I'd be right back where I started 5 years ago.  I've recently read about Adrenal Fatigue being a possible cause of panic attacks. Does anyone know if Adrenal Fatigue could the problem or part of the problem???

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

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I would argue that you are not back where you were five years ago. This is important to keep clear. Today you are experiencing the worst type of drug withdrawal there is. Your panic attacks are due to withdrawal, hon.

 

Buspar does not help w/d anxiety. Hate to break it to you but the only cure is time, and the only way through it is through it. It will all work itself out in time. in the meantime, focus on self care and lots of support.

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I would argue that you are not back where you were five years ago. This is important to keep clear. Today you are experiencing the worst type of drug withdrawal there is. Your panic attacks are due to withdrawal, hon.

 

Buspar does not help w/d anxiety. Hate to break it to you but the only cure is time, and the only way through it is through it. It will all work itself out in time. in the meantime, focus on self care and lots of support.

 

My doctor insists that I continue taking buspar as she believes that once I'm off benzos I will still suffer from panic disorder.  She doesn't believe that my symptoms are purely withdrawal.  In her opinion my symptoms could be partially due to withdrawal from benzos but she believes that the main cause is panic disorder which she believes I will have to deal with for a very long time, possibly forever.  Do I stop taking buspar without telling her or do I give it a try.  I know it won't help with the withdrawal but is there a chance it might help with the anxiety disorder?

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I was also put on Buspar for anxiety but it didn't do anything for me.  If it doesn't have uncomfortable side effects, you could probably take it "just in case" it will help you.  Personally, I don't think there is a drug that can help with panic disorder long-term.  I think it would help to use this time to work on learning to deal with panic attacks.  Once I developed some plans, did some "exposure therapy". learned some calming techiques, I no longer had panic attacks.  I came to believe that the fear of them helped to bring them on.  BTW, here's a good thread on dealing with panic attacks from the Anxiety board:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=13001.msg180729#msg180729

 

I also found Claire Weekes' books (and iTunes lectures) very helpful.  Not everything works for everyone but I feel sure you will find some things that work for you.  Good luck.

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I was also put on Buspar for anxiety but it didn't do anything for me.  If it doesn't have uncomfortable side effects, you could probably take it "just in case" it will help you.  Personally, I don't think there is a drug that can help with panic disorder long-term.  I think it would help to use this time to work on learning to deal with panic attacks.  Once I developed some plans, did some "exposure therapy". learned some calming techiques, I no longer had panic attacks.  I came to believe that the fear of them helped to bring them on.  BTW, here's a good thread on dealing with panic attacks from the Anxiety board:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=13001.msg180729#msg180729

 

I also found Claire Weekes' books (and iTunes lectures) very helpful.  Not everything works for everyone but I feel sure you will find some things that work for you.  Good luck.

 

Those are good tips and I've tried just about all of them.  However, my panic attacks happen daily and always last for hours and hours and get progressively more severe no matter what I do. After several hours of trying to cope I just cannot handle it anymore which is when I feel there's no option other than sedating medication.  I am now on a medical leave from work because I simply cannot function normally with these intense panic attacks.  I am generally a rational, well adjusted, logical, calm, analytical person but when the panic attacks get so severe nothing other than meds works. I also do not have any specific triggers, the attacks are completely random.  If there is no drug that can help with panic disorder long-term, I'm "screwed", as much as I would love to be drug free.

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Have you tried therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) which is known to work for anxiety disorders?  Have you read any of Claire Weekes books or listened to any of her lectures? There are other books as well but hers are the ones I am familiar with.

 

I know you think you have no control over the panic attacks and when they are happening, you may not have much, but you can learn to prevent them.  Don't give up.  Keep looking for help until you find it.  :therethere:

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Have you tried therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) which is known to work for anxiety disorders?  Have you read any of Claire Weekes books or listened to any of her lectures? There are other books as well but hers are the ones I am familiar with.

 

I know you think you have no control over the panic attacks and when they are happening, you may not have much, but you can learn to prevent them.  Don't give up.  Keep looking for help until you find it.   :therethere:

 

Tried CBT, tired talk therapy, tired accupuncture, tried naturopathy, tried homeopathy, didn't do anything for me.  Sorry, I'm sounding so negative, I'm just really frustrated.  I don't feel good about the Buspar my GP is telling me to take.

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I can see why you'd feel negative.  :therethere:  I remember feeling that way about my depression.  I spent at least 10 years being put on one drug or another and combinations of drugs and different dose, whle seeing at least 5 different talk therapists.  I now know that part of the problem was the benzo but I also ended up with the right counselor.  It is an exhausting process for sure.

 

Well, if you haven't tried Claire Weekes', maybe that 's something to look into.  Although she is deceased, she has a website and her books and audio books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.  I found the audio version most helpful because I was having too much trouble concentrating to read a book at the time.

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=claire+weekes+audio&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=10984328376&ref=pd_sl_3h7cge35wb_e

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I can see why you'd feel negative.  :therethere:  I remember feeling that way about my depression.  I spent at least 10 years being put on one drug or another and combinations of drugs and different dose, whle seeing at least 5 different talk therapists.   I now know that part of the problem was the benzo but I also ended up with the right counselor.  It is an exhausting process for sure.

 

Well, if you haven't tried Claire Weekes', maybe that 's something to look into.  Although she is deceased, she has a website and her books and audio books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.  I found the audio version most helpful because I was having too much trouble concentrating to read a book at the time.

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=claire+weekes+audio&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=10984328376&ref=pd_sl_3h7cge35wb_e

 

Thank you so much for that link, I will definitely look into it.  Feel like I need to try anything that might possibly help.

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I can see why you'd feel negative.  :therethere:  I remember feeling that way about my depression.  I spent at least 10 years being put on one drug or another and combinations of drugs and different dose, whle seeing at least 5 different talk therapists.   I now know that part of the problem was the benzo but I also ended up with the right counselor.  It is an exhausting process for sure.

 

Well, if you haven't tried Claire Weekes', maybe that 's something to look into.  Although she is deceased, she has a website and her books and audio books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.  I found the audio version most helpful because I was having too much trouble concentrating to read a book at the time.

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=claire+weekes+audio&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=10984328376&ref=pd_sl_3h7cge35wb_e

 

If you have the time could you tell me a bit more about Claire Weeks.  How has it helped you?  What does she talk about?  Does she teach coping skills?

I'd appreciate any information you are able to provide.

Thank you.

 

Thank you so much for that link, I will definitely look into it.  Feel like I need to try anything that might possibly help.

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Adrenal fatigue was definitely part of my problem with panic attacks and depression. My gyno who is very alternative friendly put me on 5 HTP as a serotonin builder and a glandular adrenal supplement. I was also on a very small does of Prozac (10mgs) and have never had to increase dosage. I think the supplements were the key to my healing. You just have to find a dr who will treat you that way. An endocrinolgist is likely to consider it all hooey.
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